soundsmith retip questions

Hello all,

I've recently had my Denon DL-103r retipped with the Ruby Cantilever and Nude Contact Line Diamond stylus.

I'm wondering what tracking force people have settled on with this rebuild, as it's a little vague.

Also, the ruby cantilver is so thin and fragile looking that I'm a little hesitant to use a micro fiber brush to clean the stylus. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated as well.

I have that same cantilever and stylus on my Dyna XV-1s. I don't see any difference in what I use for VTF. After all, the suspension dictates most of what the force should be.

I use a Magic Eraser on my religiously.
I have a Soundsmith retipped DL-103 and love it. I tried running it at lower VTF but wound up back around 2.5g. I also use the Magic Eraser plus a soft bristle brush. Sonically it's a MAJOR improvement in every way over the original conical stylus.
IMO, there is a ton of misinformation out there with respect to tracking force on the Soundsmith retips and Peter Lederman has in fact acknowledged this (and the Soundsmith website is not particularly precise regarding this) in threads at Audioasylum.

In short, with a low(er) compliance cartridge like the 103R Soundsmith states that you might be able to track .1 to .2 grams lighter than you were before. Ideas of tracking 103/103R's from 1.2 to 1.8 grams following Soundsmith retips are, in my opinion, totally ludicrous.

It probably took me close to 2 months to get my Soundsmith retipped 103R really dialed in because I was starting at these ridiculously low mentioned tracking forces (I actually started at 1.7 or so).

In the end, I am back to exactly the same tracking force that I used before the retip: 2.6 grams.

My advice is to start in the 2.6 to 2.7 range and work down, not the opposite of working up. You'll save yourself a lot of time and get the cartridge dialed in much more quickly.

The Soundsmith retip is better in every way than the stock 103R, but be aware that it is much more sensitive of VTA than the stock Denon.

My educated guess is that optimal tracking force will vary between 2.4 and 2.6 depending on listener and setup but I found that even the difference between 2.45 and 2.6 was significant in my setup with 2.6 sounding much better.